The pope prayed the Regina Coeli from the library of the Apostolic Palace. He meditated on the Feast of Ascension, saying it is an invitation to evangelize and demonstrate how to follow Jesus. First and foremost, he stressed, is the importance of a good example.
Faced with such a demanding task and thinking about our weaknesses, we feel inadequate, as the apostles did. Do not be discouraged! Remember the words Jesus told them before ascending to Heaven, 'I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.'
The pope also sent a message to Catholics in China. In 2007, Benedict XVI asked that every May 24, on the feast of Mary Help of Christians, Catholics pray for their brothers and sisters in China.
I want to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are a part, shares your hopes and sustains you in the trials of life.
He also entrusted the Blessed Mother to those who are working for peace and dialogue between nations.
Before leaving, he announced a year of reflection on the encyclical Laudato si’. It just celebrated its fifth anniversary.
I invite all people of good will to join, to care for our common home and our most fragile brothers and sisters.
Although the pope prayed from his library, he later leaned out the window to bless the pilgrims who were in the square.
For months, it has been completely empty due to the pandemic. Now, little by little, people are returning.
Daniel Díaz Vizzi / JMB
Translation: Melissa Butz